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Eden Hall Upper Elementary Hires Assistant Principals

Pine-Richland School District is pleased to announce the hiring of two new assistant principals for Eden Hall Upper Elementary School. Emily Rose Dunker and Zachary Rice were approved by the school board at their June 12 planning meeting. 


Mrs. Emily Rose DunkerEmily Dunker

Currently serving as associate and acting principal at Carlynton Junior-Senior High School, Mrs. Dunker previously worked as a 10th grade communications teacher at Freedom Area High School and taught 10th and 12th grade English at North Catholic High School. She has experience with the Pine-Richland School District, having completed her principal internship at Wexford Elementary in 2019.


"I am humbled, honored and excited to join the Eden Hall Upper Elementary team and learn from every stakeholder what it means to be a part of the Pine-Richland community,” said Mrs. Dunker. 


Mrs. Dunker has held roles as crisis team leader and SAP team leader. As acting principal, she is especially proud of her work creating a dedicated room to help students refocus on learning as well as the implementation of new systems and processes in the junior-senior high school. 


“Throughout the interview process, Mrs. Dunker's ability to make well-informed decisions involving various stakeholders, while focusing on alignment to the mission, vision and values, stood out,” said Mrs. Berezo, principal of Eden Hall Upper Elementary. “With her unique background and experience, Mrs. Dunker has a strong understanding of ensuring school culture and academics effectively equip students for their future endeavors in middle school and beyond.”


Mrs. Dunker earned a B.A. from Saint Mary’s College and an M.Ed. in secondary education and English from Duquesne University, and received K-12 principal certification through the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of Pittsburgh.


“It will be a privilege to work with the leadership team and build meaningful relationships with the students, faculty and families of Pine-Richland to continue our focus on learning for every student every day,” said Mrs. Dunker. “With the support and collaboration of every member of the school community, we will continue in our collective pursuit of excellence in academics, arts, athletics and activities for all students of Pine-Richland."


Mr. Zachary RiceZach rice

Mr. Rice is currently the interim assistant principal at Hampton Middle School, where he established a new school-wide PBIS program and served as school assessment coordinator and coordinator of federal programs. 


“I am thrilled to join the team at Eden Hall and Pine-Richland,” said Mr. Rice. “Throughout the interview process, there was a tangible sense of dedication and loyalty to the students and mission of Pine-Richland by administration, staff and school board. I feel lucky to get to be a part of that.” 


Prior to his role as interim assistant principal, Mr. Rice taught second and third grade in Hampton Township School District for four years, taught at Hampton Online Academy, spent five years teaching second grade in the Plum Borough School District and taught special education in the Carlynton School District. He served on the strategic planning committees at Plum and Hampton and served as K-6 science curriculum chairperson at Plum. 


Mr. Rice earned a B.S. in education from Penn State University with certifications in K-6 elementary and 7-9 English. He received a M.Ed. from Waynesburg University with a K-12 special education certification, and received K-12 principal certification from Point Park University. 


“Throughout the interview process, Mr. Rice impressed our team with his unwavering commitment to serving students,” said Mrs. Berezo. “With his instructional expertise and demonstrated ability to collaborate with all stakeholders, as well as effectively utilize data to personalize instruction for diverse learners, Mr. Rice has a strong understanding of how to foster a positive learning environment that promotes academic excellence.”


“I look forward to meeting and working with Eden Hall’s students, staff and community,” said Mr. Rice. “I consider it an honor to get to serve the community, and I will strive to work collaboratively with stakeholders to maintain a safe, welcoming and challenging learning environment for the students of Eden Hall.”  


Mrs. Dunker and Mr. Rice replace Mrs. Paula Giran, who is the new principal at Hance Elementary, and Dr. Joseph Domagala, who is moving into a teaching position at Wexford and Hance. Transition dates are still being finalized for both Mrs. Dunker and Mr. Rice. 


“We look forward to having Mr. Rice and Mrs. Dunker join our Eden Hall Upper Elementary team and begin working with our staff, students and families,” said Mrs. Berezo.